Based on a concatenation of every poll that Gallup did in 2008 (a total of 350,000 people), there are only 5 states left in America that can be considered "Republican", while 35 states can be considered "Democrat". (The reason why there is a difference between this map and the results from the presidential election is because this map shows "all people", not just likely voters or registered voters... which more accurately depict election results.)
You would imagine that this is the point in time when Republicans might assume a more conciliatory tone, recognize that the "kumbaya atmosphere" that America is experiencing is not an opportune moment to play spoiler on popular legislation, and perhaps (just perhaps) play the part of "concerned-and-sober-minded" minority instead of the "let's do whatever it takes to stop the liberals" gang of pissy thugs who have been voting near-unanimously against meaningless but sensible legislation, such as moving to digital TV (because it's suggested by the Democrats), or taking a dump on equal pay for women (because it's suggested by the Democrats). America just isn't in the mood for this.
It really does make you wonder just how dumb (or suicidal) the Congressional Republicans are. Nate Silver ponders:
It's not just the goose egg that the House Republicans laid on the Democratic stimulus package yesterday: Boehner's Boys have been equally uncooperative on other matters. Case in point: a bill yesterday to delay the transition to digital TV. This measure was approved unanimously by the Senate; every Senate Republican gave it the green light. But 155 out of 178 House Republicans voted against it, which resulted in the measure's defeat since a two-thirds majority would have been required for passage under the House's suspension of the rules.The first thought that comes to mind is that the Republicans are really hoping that Obama fails, and America slides into another Great Depression (an evil-but-far-too-plausible likelihood). They believe that they will then somehow have the right to stand up during the 2010 elections and say, "You should have listened to us." But that belief doesn't explain why they are being as baldly contrarian as they are now. It's petty, and I really believe it is destroying (or vastly delaying) the ability of actual conservatives, moderates, and libertarians to rise from the ashes of The Republicans' eventual funeral pyre and reassert themselves in American politics.
Or, take the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a seemingly fairly popular/populist (if not inscrutable) piece of legislation on gender-based pay discrepancies. This was something that Barack Obama whacked John McCain on on the campaign trail, with McCain offering little rebuttal. In the Senate, five Republicans — out of 41 — voted with the Administration on Ledbetter, including all four Republican women. In the House, just three Republicans did — out of 178.
Boenher and Eric Cantor have obviously done an impressive job of rallying their troops — and Cantor, in particular, seems proud of his efforts. But what grander purpose does this strategy serve? The House Republicans are opposing popular legislation from a very popular President, and doing so in ways that stick a needle in the eye of the popular (if quixotic) concept of bipartisanship.
Thus the Republicans, arguably, are in something of a death spiral. The more conservative, partisan, and strident their message becomes, the more they alienate non-base Republicans. But the more they alienate non-base Republicans, the fewer of them are left to worry about appeasing. Thus, their message becomes continually more appealing to the base -- but more conservative, partisan, and strident to the rest of us. And the process loops back upon itself.
I am really starting to believe that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Republican party on this earth, and that a new conservative party will rise to replace it at some point in the future... although the time of that birth will be largely determined by how messy these current Republicans make their own death throes, and so far — what with the shit-slinging that's going on — it's pretty messy.
The basis for this prediction of death is something you can witness for yourself. Ask any American about their political leanings. Nobody admits to being a Republican anymore; instead people say they are capital-C conservatives... or (especially among younger folks) they just claim to be Libertarian. (Conversely, nobody admits to being a liberal anymore; instead people say they are Democrats.) What you have there is the recipe for the fatal poison to a political party: When you reach the point where people will only identify themselves with the mindset of a political party, but not with the political party itself, that political party cannot long survive.
What you will see soon is coalition politics growing on the conservative side of the aisle in Congress, with many more conservatives moving up the ranks from local politics either as independents, or within small parties such as Constitution, Reform, and Libertarian. As those politicians make it from local to state and then to national prominence, more will follow, and soon they will outnumber Republicans even as they caucus together, and probably even cross-nominate single Presidential candidates. Eventually (within 25 years probably), one of these small political parties will become the new dominant "home" for conservatives (the Constitution Party would be my guess) leaving whatever destructive voices — conservative Christians especially — still remain from the current Republican party out in the cold, and the 2-party politics that America has practiced for most of its life will return once again.
(Of course, it's totally likely that those out-in-the-cold folks will batter down the door and finagle their way back inside and start the Conservative decay all over again... but that's a bit too far in the future for anybody to bother to look at.)